Researchers knew that prions, the misfolded proteins that cause mad cow disease and other brain disorders, were killing off a class of important brain cells in a transgenic mouse model. But when they found a way to rescue those cells, they were astonished to discover the mice still became sick.
Now they believe previous efforts to find the beginnings of the mouse disorder may have been focused on the wrong part of the brain cell and are plotting new directions for research.
In a study that appears in the Jan. 1 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists report evidence that clinical symptoms in the mice are produced by damage to synapses, the areas where nerve cell branches come together for communication. "This could have important therapeutic implications," says senior author David Harris, M.D, Ph.D, professor of cell biology and physiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. "There’s a great deal of effort being put into developing treatments for neurodegenerative disorders that would inhibit neuron death. Our results suggest that if we just prevent cell death without doing something to maintain the functionality of the synapse, patients may still get sick."
Michael C. Purdy | EurekAlert!
Rutgers scientists discover 'Legos of life'
23.01.2018 | Rutgers University
Researchers identify a protein that keeps metastatic breast cancer cells dormant
23.01.2018 | Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)
Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.
Microscopes allow us to see structures that are otherwise invisible to the human eye. However, conventional optical microscopes cannot be used to image...
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
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